Recognition and Management of Sepsis in the Obstetric Patient

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Abstract

Sepsis is one of the principal causes of maternal mortality in obstetrics. Physiologic changes that occur during pregnancy create a vulnerable environment, predisposing pregnant patients to the development of sepsis. Furthermore, these changes can mask sepsis indicators normally seen in the nonobstetric population, making it difficult to recognize and treat sepsis in a timely manner. The use of maternal-specific early warning tools for sepsis identification and knowledge of appropriate interventions and their effects on the mother and fetus can help clinicians obtain the best patient outcomes in acute care settings. This article outlines the signs and symptoms of sepsis in obstetric patients and discusses treatment options used in critical care settings.

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